Cut Monthly Bills
Your personal cost of living reflects spending in many different areas, from long-term debt obligations to everyday purchases. In order to stay in good graces with creditors and provide for yourself and family, you must find resources to cover expenses – month after month. And though financial tides ebb and flow; a recurring batch of monthly costs repeat regularly, at the heart of your household cash flow. Scratching savings within this persistent core of financial responsibilities is a rewarding money-saving tactic, because money saved monthly comes around again and again. If you are committed to stretching your financial resources, start with a close look at ongoing expenses, which may yield savings.
As Utility Rates Rise, Frugal Families Cut Usage
Household spending includes money earmarked for heat, cooling, electricity and other energy costs. Depending upon where you live, heating and cooling costs can be a major ongoing expense, offsetting temperature extremes at both ends of the spectrum. And since every aspect of modern living relies on electronic devices and power-hungry appliances, electricity is also at a premium in most homes, pushing energy costs higher for ‘connected’ consumers. Take your first steps toward energy conservation and reduced monthly expenses, employing these common-sense cost-cutting measures.
Lower Electric Bills Start with Commitment to Conserve – Turning off lights as you leave a room is force of habit, furnishing a starting point for energy savings. But with so many electrical devices running in the background of daily life, flipping the light switch is only the beginning. To rack up further savings, pay close attention to you usage habits. Are your gadgets plugged-in all the time, in standby mode? Do you multi-task, with several screens running at once? Are you constantly charging portable devices?
Making minor adjustments to your routines opens the door to substantial savings, over time. Start by unplugging chargers and devices when not in use, it is a sure way to stop the wasteful trickle of energy spending caused by unattended electronics. And power-up only those devices you are using, at any given, rather than simultaneously using an impossible number of gadgets.
Manage Heating and Cooling Costs for Big-Time Savings – Appliances that generate heat are among the most expensive to operate, so your home’s furnace or boiler accounts for a significant portion of each month’s energy bill. To start saving money right away, evaluate the way your family calls for heat. By lowering the thermostat setting by a degree or two, you’ll notice the difference on your energy bill, without sacrificing comfort. Better yet, install a programmable model, enabling you to fine-tune heat settings, according to your family’s home-time schedule.
Monthly Transportation Costs Mount for Car Owners
The cost of staying on the road goes well beyond the purchase price paid for your car. Insurance, fuel, maintenance and an occasional major repair add to the tally, giving you plenty of reasons for a frugal approach. Starting with the car you drive, the most realistic driving scenario matches your financial resources with your driving habits. Practicality, economy and simple common sense factor in, keeping you moving, without creating financial distress.
Buy Sensibly – Not only the car you purchase, but also the financing used to close the sale, are important concerns at the dealership. To ensure affordability, add-up projected monthly expenses – before making financing commitments. Banks, credit unions and dealers extend financing to qualified candidates, but alternative forms of funding may be required, depending upon your circumstances. Use online resources to compare various financing options, until you find the most cost-effective loan available to you. Even if a lender is willing to underwrite a sizable loan, borrow only what you need to buy a vehicle within your means.
Conserve Fuel – Gas is one of the most visible driving expenses. After all, fueling-up is a regular occurrence, so it is easy to see money going away at the pump. The price of gas moves up and down, so driving is naturally more expensive during peak pricing. Regardless of the price of fuel, however, changing your habits can create monthly savings. For starters, coordinate your driving routes to be as efficient as possible, so you aren’t backtracking and wasting gas. And drive conservatively, to extend vehicle life and burn less gas.
Evaluate Insurance Coverage – Insurance is a dogging expense, which never goes away. If you are overpaying for you auto policy, you are leaving money on the table – not once, but month after month. To make sure you are on a frugal track, periodically assess coverage levels and consult with insurance companies about potential savings. Higher deductibles, safe driven discounts and multi-policy incentives may work in your favor.
Realistic money saving opportunities exist at all levels of your family budget. Although financial waste can occur across the board, recurring monthly expenses leave you particularly vulnerable, because the payments come due again and again. If you are serious about saving money, put your monthly bills under review, to highlight reasonable cost-cutting measures.